Oct 30, 2012

Throwback: Hola Espana Dinner

I don't remember when this photo was taken. All I know is there's no more Hola Espana resto in Ayala Center Cebu. :)

Clear Blue

The view outside our bedroom window that greeted me this morning. A gift of blue cloudless sky... What a lovely start to this special day.

Oct 29, 2012

A Salon Find

Look what I found this morning at the salon while reading Sunstar Cebu on my iPad. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Oct 28, 2012


The vet put a cone on Bo to prevent him from further scratching his infected wound. He still looks cute (and doesn't seem bothered at all) with his new but temporary accessory. :D


These photos were taken on the first day of the boys' periodical tests the other week, while we were waiting at the carpool stop. I guess Jake was just making use of his waiting time wisely.

Oct 27, 2012

Manila Bay

No matter how much negativity Filipinos or non-Filipinos say about our country, I haven't given up hope. I still believe that there is potential for things to get better as long as we work hard and do our share in improving our lot (without being corrupt).

Call me sappy if you wish but there is so much to be thankful for, to be hopeful about, and to be proud of...

Even foreigners who have just been here for the first time see the good in our country...

Kylie Jenner's Instagram photo of Manila Bay

Oct 26, 2012


This is also one of my native cravings... It is binignit in Bisaya or ginatan in Tagalog. I like it better if with plantain (saba), bits of jackfruit and sticky rice balls (bilo-bilo) but sorry not really a fan of tapioca. I wish more food outlets would sell it. They say preparation of binignit is tedious, so I'm glad I know of two so far in Cebu where I could have my fix. Happy happy joy joy. :)

Oct 25, 2012

๐ŸŽ„Puto Bumbong๐ŸŽ„

Loosely translated, it means glutinous (or sticky) rice steamed in bamboo tubes. In Manila while I was growing up until right before I got married (and moved to Cebu), the sight of stalls selling puto bumbong signalled that the Christmas season in the Philippines, or at least in Manila, has begun.

It would be sold during the 9-day novena masses at dawn in December, together with bibingka and hot chocolate. So it was special in a way that we would look forward to having it every year.

Luckily for us in Cebu, there's a local homegrown restaurant that has puto bumbong and bibingka as one of its native specialties all year round. Today I had it for dessert, drizzled with coconut and smothered with a bit of butter and sugar. It was like Christmas on a plate... in October! :)

An Hour Away

with Jake and hubby during dinner on the day of Ofel's visit

While typhoon Ofel was battering the country as it moved from east to west cutting through the Visayas region, hubby was in Manila preparing for his return flight back home to Cebu.

"How's the weather there?", he texted me.

"It's cloudy and looks like it's going to be rainy the whole day. It's been drizzling on and off and there's a city-wide suspension of classes from preschool up to high school", was pretty much my reply when I got to talk to him.

(Side note: My sons' school is in a different city. They had classes that day. The school dance at the gymnasium proceeded as planned.)

Hubby got home before 6pm and was saying Manila's weather, compared with Cebu's today was a lot worse. I remembered a time when guests from Manila commented: "Bakit maaraw dito sa Cebu, sa Manila ulan ng ulan? (How come it's clear and sunny here in Cebu while there's nonstop rain in Manila?).

This has always amused us and baffled us at the same time. To think that Cebu is just an hour's plane ride away...

A Midlife Decision

Believe it or not, it was only last April (2012) that I enrolled myself for a gym membership... at age 44! Embarassing as it may seem, I have to admit I never knew how to operate a treadmill or an elliptical until that first day.

I have always thought I didn't need to work out to stay fit. I thought I only needed to cut portions and be active instead of sedentary... But then after the "palpitation episode" in 2010, I realized I had to do something. Because I felt my work was stressing me out, I resigned and ended my 23 years (total) of employment. Of course there were other reasons too why I wanted my own time back, like being able to drive our sons to and from school and being able to supervise my preschooler (at that time) in his studies, etc. etc.

After no longer having an 8-5 work, and having too much time on my hands coupled with long periods of inactivity, I started gaining weight. Portion control alone didn't help in maintaining what was ideal for my height. Add to that the junk food I regularly craved and consumed like it was part of my meals (*facepalm*). The pounds slowly but steadily piled up I wished the scale was just out of whack.

Not counting the three times I was pregnant, I was at my heaviest at almost 150 pounds!

So what made me start (although late) going to the gym? I don't really know. Haha! Whatever it was that knocked my consciousness to start working out, I'm thankful. I think I'm addicted to endorphins now.

Oct 24, 2012

7 Cs

The Student Council was having a Q&A at the grand lobby when I arrived to get Jake. And who do I see going up the stage and answering the first question about the 7 Cs of the school mission? It was Jake!

"Christ-centeredness, community, competence, compassion, character, culture, conscience..."

He won for himself a plastic cup/mug with the school logo and a note from the student council. ๐Ÿ‘


While transferring images and videos to my online storage to regain iPad space, I saw these photos and thought of sharing.

These were taken in Balamban one sunny day in August 2011 when we went on a road trip on a whim. We thought it was a good time, because the skies were clear and the probability of low clouds or fog was low.

Along the way were a couple of cafes or fruit and corn stalls where you could buy your snacks or refreshments, if you didn't bring any. The park itself or mountain resort was on a high point of the rugged terrain of central Cebu. Up there, you get a breathtaking view of the mountains. And the weather is cool (saves you the cost of a plane ride to Baguio... hehe...).

Balamban is about 30 minutes to an hour's drive depending on where you're coming from. It's good to know that there are places urbanites or city dwellers can hie off to, to escape the dense city or the daily rush hour traffic and pollution. For Cebu, it could be the beaches, the pristine islands or, in this case, the mountains.

Island in the Sky






Adventure Cafe


Just some snack and refreshments at Adventure Cafe because nobody had the guts to try the zipline. LOL

Oct 22, 2012


Such flexibility... My tita/cousin M attempting the wheel pose on the left... And that's me having a wardrobe malfunction while attempting the headstand for the first time.

If there is something significant that happened to me today, it would have to be my first attempt at doing the headstand. I wasn't expecting to be taught that pose on my second session at ashtanga yoga, especially since we were just getting familiar with the sun salutations... But because we had encouraging instructors, we were motivated to try.

The earlier sequence was quite tough I had to keep reminding myself to breath the proper way and to focus on the instructor's calming voice. We tried to transition from one pose to the next as smoothly as we could but my almost 45 year old beginner's body seemed to buckle on every pose. Oooh... And it didn't help that paticipants to this morning's session were my 19 year old son's classmates from high school, 20+ years younger than me! I smiled and said hi after one of them said "Hi Ma'am, you're Matthew's mom no?".

Just great, that made me feel old... LOL

Oct 20, 2012


I am wary of group buying sites after hearing the news and stories from friends about non-delivery of products, vouchers not being honored by establishments or bogus travel packages. However, the moment I saw this on CashCashPinoy, I thought it was the thing I was looking for. Sucker. I wanted it enough that I took the risk of ordering it online. This wasn't the problematic group buying site anyway and I had a previous positive experience with them. S.u.c.k.e.r... Anyway, I took note of the date of delivery which was a month after date of purchase.

Days passed and I almost forgot I ordered this until I got the LBC package.

Have you ever tried handing your iPhone to a friend, customer attendant or stranger to snap a quick photo of your group only to end up with blurry pics when the assigned photog fumbles with the shutter button? Now my iPhone has the look and feel of a vintage camera with a working shutter button just like the real thing. I love it and I get amused when friends and relatives mistake it for a real camera.

Meet my iPhone, the camera wannabe.

Burger at Irie

It was almost 11pm last night when we decided to go to El Viento for some tapas and a round of drinks. However, when we got there, we were told the kitchen was already closed. Instead of insisting to be served, we just calmly walked out of the resto.

Because hubby wanted food with his nightcap, we proceeded to Irie Gastropubliko at the IT Park. It was our first time to the place. It was packed but we were lucky to be seated. Hubby and I shared a burger and it was delicious, just as we wanted it.

Like any satisfied foodie, we will be back to try the other items on the menu, for sure. :D

Oct 19, 2012


That's my happy hour Php80 glass of red wine right there. If you are after the drinks then this is a place to try (in Cebu). However, if you want pica-pica or tapas to go with your alcohol, it could be pricey. Most items in their menu cost Php300+.

Instead of complimentary nuts... they serve Oishi chips. At least... that's better than none. LOL

Total bill is...wait for it... Php132! Not bad for a date night with hubby, no?

Market Value

While at the mall with Ma, we saw the booths set up near Starbucks, that were selling fashion and home accessories. Normally I would take a look at some items and walk away without buying. Yesterday was a totally different story. A few pieces caught my attention enough to make me part with cash (they don't accept credit cards).

The photo above are 2 of several pieces I bought. These are made of welded wire "woven" intricately like filigree and embedded with colored and sparkly beads. Judging from the amount of work put into these pieces, at first I thought I'd have to pay an arm and a leg. :)

Total amount was way below what I was willing to pay the pieces for.
Filigree Bangles
filigree arm bands

Now this is my idea of retail therapy... no buyer's remorse.

Oct 17, 2012

Early Bird?

The title could mean either way: the tree was put up early or Ma was up early today to help me with the trimmings. LOL.

I'm a creature of habit such that I do things the same way if I could help it. This tree for instance, has been with us for about 10 years. It's small but fit our condo space, then, perfectly. A 6-ft spruce, although lovely, would have overwhelmed our diminutive living room.

We've moved since and our space now could very well fit a slightly bigger one, but I still wanted my old tree. This morning, after rearranging the furniture a bit while playing my Christmas music app on the iPad to set the mood, the old tree with an angel topper and red and gold trimmings was put up.

Creature of habit or sentimental? Maybe both... and just plain frugal. :). This year, the family members may have grown in number and in age over time, but the same familiar tree would grace our family pictures like how it has always been.